Activities in London to Suit any Budget
A city break to London is an exciting adventure with so much to see and do. Not everyone has the same budget to spend, and what may be affordable to some, may seriously pull at the purse-strings for other travellers. No one should miss out on the basic attractions that draw so many visitors to London from far and wide. Highlighted below are two options for each activity – one for those on a budget, and one for those who have the cash to splash.
Appreciate the Best Views of London
No expense spared: If you’re feeling particularly flash then take a trip up Tower 42 to the Vertigo Bar. 590ft high – this luxury champagne bar delivers the most impressive, and accessible views of London, with a 360 degree viewing area. Soak up the panoramic views of London, whilst sipping fine wines and champagnes or indulge in some exotic drinks from the cocktail bar, and sampling a light food menu. Wines are priced from £34, with magnums of champagne available up to £820. Reservations are a must.
On a budget: The only champagne bottles you’ll see here are the ones you bring along in your picnic basket. Primrose Hill is the free option for a fantastic view of London. On the north side of Regents Park, Primrose Hill is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy your natural surroundings, and the London views before you. It’s not a bird’s-eye-view, but it is a great vista of the London skyline, and perhaps even for a spot of celeb-spotting, with many famous people choosing to reside in this popular and wealthy area.
A Royal Day Out
No expense spared: Buckingham Palace is the residence of Her Majesty The Queen, with a history dating back to the early 1700’s. Take a tour of this iconic building and explore the 19 State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery, and Royal Gardens that are open to the public from July to early October. A tour of the State Rooms, including a free audio guide is £18 per person, ranging up to £31.95 for a combined tour.
On a budget: Hampton Court Palace has been associated with many of England’s most famous monarchs, including Henry VIII, and Queen Mary I. It is a grand and beautiful building with a deep history, and fascinating grounds just waiting to be explored. For 6 months out of the year, admission into the Royal Gardens is free and you can stroll around The Privy Garden with water features, flower arrangements, and pristinely shaped trees. For a little bit of fun, you can get lost and confused in Hampton Court’s famous maze for just £3.85.
Indulge in some retail therapy:
No expense spared: If it is designer brands and exclusive boutiques are what you’re looking for then Bond Street is just the answer. This high end shopping district runs through the wealthy area of Mayfair, and is home to luxurious brands such as Chanel, D&G, and Christian Dior. What more can we say apart from, make sure you take your credit card!
On a budget: Oxford Street is the mecca of shopping in London, housing some of the biggest high street brands. With a mile and a half of shops, you would be hard pushed not to find a bargain deal or super sale along the way. Big names such as Topshop, Marks and Spencer’s and Primark can be found along Oxford Street, along with small independent shops, perfect for cheap purchases and souvenirs.
Keep the Kids Entertained:
No expense spared: The London Aquarium is conveniently located near the London Eye, and will have your children fascinated by aquatic life for years to come. The aquarium has 14 different themed zones, and houses over 500 species of aquatic life. View a variety of fish, mammals and birds, including more than 40 sharks and a penguin enclosure. Adult tickets are priced at £19.80 and child tickets at £14.40.
On a budget: The Science Museum is a great attraction to take the kids along to, fusing entertainment, interaction and education. There is so much to see and do, including the oldest surviving steam train, Stephenson’s Rocket, and a full sized replica of a space lander. General admission into the museum is free and includes most of the exhibits; however, there are charges for the Imax Theatre and 4D cinema attractions.
Enjoy an evening out:
No expense spared: No trip to London is complete without an evening out in the West End and a trip to the theatre. There are so many performances to choose from, including musicals, comedies, opera, and ballet, with many evening performances kicking off at 7.30pm. Many theatres are located along Shaftesbury Avenue, Drury Lane, and The Strand, and are within convenient walking distance to Covent Garden. Whether you choose to dine out, before, or after the performance, is completely up to you. There will still be a variety of restaurants open to you at around 10pm; however it is advisable to make a reservation as all other theatre-goers tend to have the same idea.
On a budget: As previously mentioned, no trip to London is complete without an evening at the theatre – budget or no budget. If you’re not fussed on what you watch, it is a good idea to allocate an evening into your schedule and at about 5-6pm, take a trip to a TKTS booth (there is one located in Leicester Square) where you will be able to buy discounted theatre tickets with up to half price off. There are many small authentic Chinese restaurants dotted around the theatre districts, which may not look very glamorous, but often serve tasty affordable meals.
To compliment your city break to London, why not book a self-catering London apartment. With budget to luxury London apartments on offer, you will be sure to find the perfect accommodation to meet your requirements.